November 29, 2012
Over the strenuous objections of the U.S. and Israel, the United Nations General Assembly voted today to grant nonmember observer status to a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. The U.N. action, which was widely anticipated, was largely a symbolic move that does nothing to change the situation on the ground or lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. But it does raise international pressure on Israel to show it is serious about reaching a negotiated settlement, while allowing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to claim a historic advance in his people's quest for global recognition.
August 13, 2012
One of the few things Americans on both sides of the partisan divide can agree on is that this election is shaping up to be vexingly petty. The hunt for gaffes -- some real, many imagined -- has taken over. Mitt Romney's recent overseas tour, we are told, produced three: an impolitic, if defensible, statement about Britain's preparations for the Olympics; a statement about the importance of culture in economic development; and an incident in which an aide to Mr. Romney dressed down a reporter with an inflated sense of entitlement.
May 10, 2012
James W. Dale makes a welcome point in his commentary about the divestment campaign against Israel ("Choosing to stay engaged: Anti-Israel measures like divestment are not the best way to seek justice for Palestinians," May 4). It is, as he says, vital that mainline churches, including his own Presbyterian Church, understand that anti-Israel "divestment" campaigns render their proponents destructive and deny them a voice at the table. "Divestment" echoes both the Nazi boycott and impoverishment of German Jews and the Arab League's economic boycott of Israel.
February 12, 2012
Signs of movement toward renewed cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have Israeli officials on edge. Israel considers Hamas a terrorist organization committed to its destruction and has shunned negotiations. In the wake of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' efforts last fall to sidestep negotiations with Israel and seek United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state, it is easy to see this as another ominous sign for the prospects for peace. But there is another possibility at work.
October 21, 2011
The gaunt appearance of Israeli army Sgt. Gilad Shalit after five years illegal detention in Gaza without a single visit by the Red Cross or other international humanitarian organization threw into sharp contrast the full faces and healthy physiques of the Palestinian murderers released from Israeli prisons in exchange for his freedom. To see and hear the recently released terrorists and their supporters in Ramallah and Gaza vow to commit more kidnappings, murder and violence certainly should make us understand that the price of Mr. Shalit's freedom was very steep indeed.
September 26, 2011
The Sun reports ("Bid for statehood may end; Possible deal delays U.N. debate, retains aid to Palestinians," September 21) that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas "decided to approach the U.N. this year [for statehood recognition] because of his frustration that after nearly two decades of U.S.-led negotiations, the long-promised separate Palestinian state had not materialized. " That's one way of putting it, but it's Palestinian spin. It's Palestinian rejectionism that has frustrated U.S. diplomacy.